Ed Sheeran's 'Sadness' Is a 'Big Blue Monster' in Music Video for New Single 'Eyes Closed'

The singer was inspired by the movie Harvey and a book he read his daughters about sadness when coming up with the music video for "Eyes Closed," the lead single off his forthcoming new album -

Ed Sheeran's new album might be called - (or Subtract), but he's ready to add some new favorite tracks to his fans' playlists.

At midnight EST on Friday, the singer, 32, dropped the lead single off his forthcoming album, titled "Eyes Closed," and its accompanying music video.

Written several years ago, "Eyes Closed" first began as a break-up song. But, after the February 2022 death of his friend and mentor Jamal Edwards, Sheeran saw the lyrics take on a whole new meaning.

"This song is about losing someone, feeling like every time you go out and you expect to just bump into them, and everything just reminds you of them and the things you did together," Sheeran said in a statement. "You sorta have to take yourself out of reality sometimes to numb the pain of loss, but certain things just bring you right back into it."

Directed by Mia Barnes, the "Eyes Closed" music video personifies Sheeran's grief as a blue monster that follows him during a night out.

"When I was thinking of concepts for the 'Eyes Closed' music video, I wanted to make a video inspired by movies like Harvey, where the main character has an imaginary friend who's a giant rabbit that no one can see," Sheeran said. "There's also a book I read my daughters where sadness is encapsulated by an imaginary creature."

"Often sadness is something that follows you around, engulfing the rooms you're in, and you can feel and see it, but no one else around you can," he continued. "So I decided to create my own big blue monster for the video. He gets bigger and bigger as the video goes on, 'til he takes up whole rooms, and is all I can see, just like sadness."

Ed Sheeran Releases Music Video for New Single ‘Eyes Closed’ Inspired by a Book He Read His Daughters About ‘Sadness'
Ed Sheeran's "Eyes Closed" single art.

As for the color blue, Sheeran previously wrote in a March 15 Instagram that it "was Jamal's color."

"Now [it's] all I feel," he wrote. "And I guess music helps heal, so I'm dancing with my eyes closed to try get through it."

Like with "Eyes Closed," the rest of Sheeran's upcoming album — set for release on May 5 —touches on the feelings he experienced in the wake of his friend's death, as well as a variety of other hardships he faced around the same time.

"I had been working on Subtract for a decade, trying to sculpt the perfect acoustic album, writing and recording hundreds of songs with a clear vision of what I thought it should be," he said in a March 1 Instagram post. "Then at the start of 2022, a series of events changed my life, my mental health, and ultimately the way I viewed music and art."

Sheeran said that "within the space of a month, my pregnant wife got told she had a tumor, with no route to treatment until after the birth, my best friend Jamal, a brother to me, died suddenly and I found myself standing in court defending my integrity and career as a songwriter." (That March, Sheeran had to testify in court after being accused of stealing the melody of his hit 2017 song "Shape of You.")

"Writing songs is my therapy," he continued. "It helps me make sense of my feelings. I wrote without thought of what the songs would be, I just wrote whatever tumbled out. And in just over a week, I replaced a decade's worth of work with my deepest darkest thoughts."

The new album — which completes the series of mathematical albums he began with his debut album + (Plus) in 2011 — is "opening the trapdoor into my soul," Sheeran said in the post.

"For the first time I'm not trying to craft an album people will like, I'm merely putting something out that's honest and true to where I am in my adult life," he said. "This is last February's diary entry and my way of making sense of it. This is Subtract."

Ed Sheeran Releases Music Video for New Single ‘Eyes Closed’ Inspired by a Book He Read His Daughters About ‘Sadness'
Ed Sheeran. Annie Leibovitz

After the tumultuous period referenced in the album, Sheeran and his wife, Cherry Seaborn, went on to welcome their second daughter Jupiter in May of last year (they are also parents to 2-year-old daughter Lyra). He was also awarded over $1 million in legal costs after winning the "Shape of You" plagiarism suit.

Further giving fans a look into his life, Sheeran announced earlier this week that his all-new, four-part documentary Ed Sheeran: The Sum of It All is set to start streaming on Disney+ on May 3.

"I've always been very guarded in my personal and private life; the only documentary I've ever made has been one that focused on my songwriting," Sheeran previously said in a statement. "Disney approached me to make a four-part documentary, and it felt like the right time to open the door and let people in. I hope people enjoy it."

Ed Sheeran 'Subtract' cover art.

Sheeran is currently balancing his personal and professional lives in the midst of his worldwide + - = ÷ x Tour (pronounced "The Mathematics Tour"), running through Sept. 23.

"It's so nice and wholesome having family on tour," Sheeran told Rolling Stone earlier this week. "On the last tour, I'd party till 7 a.m., sleep till 4 p.m., get up and do the gig. But I was like, 26. It's very different."

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